I finally drove over and paid a visit to Diamonds Direct. It was AWESOME, SO many things to learn, and they even offer a glass of sparkling cider while you wait.... I walked through the airlock door and there's TONS of engagement rings. So cool and such a great place to get ideas from. Anyhow, I was helped by Ori, a very nice Israeli man, and he taught me for the next hour and a half how to tell different levels of inclusions as well as color gradients and polish, cut, and weight. He also showed me the difference in feel between the 14K white gold and platinum. It was awesome.
After accepting the fact that I had done previous research but had nothing physical to serve as context to my research, I was still, in fact, a total newby. Ori showed me these pamphlets with the basic shapes for a round cut diamond, as well as the different classifications. He also showed me which thresholds of certain parameters are visible to the naked eye. This makes it so that a diamond may have imperfections, but you can't see them when looking at it, so it APPEARS the same as a diamond twice its cost. So, I'm excited, because I may be able to now use a shape/sized stone a bit bigger or better than I was anticipating!
My name is Richard and I'm 24. I'm Catholic, and am blessed to have a solid working job as an engineer which I look forward to each day. I grew up in a super classy place called Manassas, VA, went to college as a Duke Dog at James Madison University, and now live in Richmond, VA. RVA!